View From the Hill – By Keith Beardsley – Watching the Candidates During the Last Week of the Pandemic Election #cdnpoli

SEPTEMBER 13, 2021 – As we enter the final week of our pandemic election, here is some advice from an old political pro- take a deep breath and relax.

Do your own research. Dig deep, ignore the media hype.

The media will push poll after poll at you- after all they are paying big dollars for them. Take a glance at them, then largely ignore them. Some pollsters may have a bias, you rarely know their sample size or the order the questions were asked and the margin of error is buried if shown at all in the news story.

In a tight race (which if you believe the polls) is what we are seeing now, a difference of one or two percent each day with parties going back and forth in the lead is often within the poll’s margin of error.

Read widely. Find a few columnists or reporters that at least try to report the facts without an obvious bias. Gone are the days when the majority of reporters tried to accurately report all sides of an issue. Many today would be better classified as opinion writers.

Various television channels and newspapers have a known slant or bias. All of which of course they will deny. Read, watch, and form your own opinion.

Political war rooms will be closely watching the various leader’s tour schedules. Where are they today, how long are they staying, where are they going next?

In the last week, those leaders that are confident that they are gaining ground and have momentum will often be visiting ridings they don’t hold. Instead, they will be in ridings held by their opponents, trying to squeeze a few more votes their way and snatch the riding away from the other party.

You will find the leaders that feel their campaign is in trouble, constantly dropping into ridings that they already hold. Hoping in the final days of the campaign that their fleeting visit- often at an airport or riding level BBQ or campaign office will keep that riding loyal to their team.

In the last 2-3 days of the campaign, watch for each party to try to deliver a knockout blow with a big story. Every party keeps one or two of these (we held some back for a year or longer) to try and change voters’ minds when the target of the story has too little time to respond and change the public’s view of them.

In the end, think for yourself, form your own opinions based on the best facts that you can uncover.

Make sure that you vote. In a close election, every vote really does count.


Keith is a former political staffer with over 50 years of active involvement in Canadian politics. He is a former Deputy Chief of Staff to a Prime Minister for Issues Management and he was a senior political advisor involved with political research, Question Period, political attack teams and election war rooms for over 20 years. A well-known political pundit, Keith has appeared many times on Canadian political panels.

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